Films in 2015: May

I got back into the groove of things in May in terms of movie-watching, but we’ll see how long this will last. I graduated from college almost a month ago, so right now I have more time to watch movies! But in the middle of June I’ll be taking a family vacation in Europe, and won’t be back until early July. So I may or may not post a round-up entry of what I watched in June early, as there will be little free time for me to watch movies while I’m away. In all likelihood though, I’ll post it on July 1st or a week later when I get back. Anyway, aside from that excitement in my personal life, I plan on squeezing in a good number of movies before my trip, including some noir films thanks to TCM’s Summer of Darkness program! So it should be a fun month. As usual, my month in films is after the cut, so let’s take a look at what I saw.

New-to-Me: 24

Re-Watched: 5

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 3
  • 1940s – 0
  • 1950s – 8
  • 1960s – 3
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 3
  • 1990s – 4
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 2

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. In Old Chicago (1937)
  2. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
  3. Obvious Child (2014)
  4. Magnificent Obsession (1935)
  5. Crime of Passion (1957)
  6. Light in the Piazza (1962)
  7. Safe (1995)
  8. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
  9. Zero Hour! (1957)
  10. Calamity Jane (1953)
  11. The Far Country (1954)
  12. The Man from Laramie (1955)
  13. Nine to Five (1980)
  14. The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
  15. Tomorrowland (2015)
  16. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  17. Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
  18. The Great Escape (1963)
  19. The Murder Man (1935)
  20. James Stewart: A Wonderful Life (1987)
  21. Johnny Guitar (1954)
  22. On Moonlight Bay (1951)
  23. By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)
  24. F for Fake (1973)

Monthly Tallies

  • Best Picture Nominees Watched: 2
  • Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 3
  • Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 11
  • Movies Watched on TCM: 0
  • Movies Watched on Hulu: 1
  • Movies Watched in theaters: 1

Trends and Notes

  • Watched 3 films from the year 1954, though one was a re-watch.
  • Watched 4 films featuring Sterling Hayden, and 3 of them were due to him being TCM’s Star of the Month for May.
  • Watched 3 films starring Doris Day, 2 of which were directed by David Butler.
  • Watched 4 films starring James Stewart, 2 of them were in a row and directed by Anthony Mann. And now I’ve seen all the Western collaborations between Stewart and Mann!

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Obvious Child (2014)

Obvious Child (2014), directed by Gillian Robespierre

I’m slowly getting around to some of the new releases I missed last year, and I’m glad I finally got around to seeing this little gem! I really enjoy romantic comedies, though admittedly the genre has fallen a little flat in recent years. But this is a near-perfect entry in the genre, and it especially helps that this was a film created by women, as romantic comedies are more appealing to the female audience. I’ve only seen Jenny Slate in small roles on TV prior to seeing this, and she really blew me away here, and she balanced the comedy and drama really well. I can’t wait to see what she and director Gillian Robespierre bring in the future.

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), directed by George Armitage

Since my mini delve into John Cusack’s filmography in December, I’ve been trying to watch more of his movies (mainly from the ’80s and ’90s) as I really enjoy his on-screen presence. For a movie about a hit man, this movie is very funny. It sort of plays out as a black comedy, as the violence gets out of hand in a lot of scenes in a hilarious way. My favorite scenes are the ones with Cusack and Minnie Driver as they have really good chemistry in this. And though they’re never actually on screen together, Cusack and his sister Joan have some great scenes as well, and I always like seeing them in movies together. I also need to note how great the soundtrack is in this movie, and all the songs are well-incorporated to the story.

Calamity Jane (1953)

Calamity Jane (1953), directed by David Butler

Doris Day never fails to put a smile on my face when I watch her films (or listen to her songs). I feel like Day was pretty underrated as an actress, as I’ve yet to see a bad performance from her. And here she plays a character that is different from the usual romantic comedy heroine that she’s most known for. In Calamity Jane, she plays a tomboy cowgirl who loves to get down and dirty with the boys. I love her banter throughout the film with Howard Keel, and they work well off of each other. And the songs here are a lot of fun, and are of course elevated by Day’s and Keel’s wonderful voices.

The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape (1963), directed by John Sturges

I posted my fifth entry for my 2015 Blind Spots series a few days ago on The Great Escape, probably the most entertaining film I saw in May. My thoughts on the film can be found here.

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